We endorse the need for an ‘on-the-ground’ approach in countries which have been subject to sanctions. As a result, this should not be limited to the area of generic policy-setting, rather, there needs to be concrete push towards establishing workable structures through which issues can be managed in a sustainable way, such that it allows people in sanctioned countries to continue to make a living without not having to engage in illicit trade to survive. In the same spirit, we have constantly been advocating for the establishment of a Permanent Secretariat in the UN for the KP. As the PAC study correctly notes, the actual rough diamond production of Cameroon is extremely small; 250 carats per month on average over the last 3 years. The larger picture is the illicit trade coming from CAR. In particular, when we consider that 1 out of 4 people in CAR live directly or indirectly from mining diamonds, we must ensure that we are not inhibiting or starving a population by making rules, procedures and guidelines that will prevent them entirely from being economically active.
- UAE KP Chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, in response to PAC’s latest report about conflict diamonds from CAR entering international markets via Cameroon.